【聯署：支持香港獨立或英國收回香港】Petition:Support HK Independent or UK reclaim HK
(English version below)
在此，我們一眾香港人為多年來某部份香港或中國人曾對你們冒犯或不尊重的行為致歉，亦懇請你們在我城被徹底摧毀前收回香港或協助我們獨立或自治，我們熱切期待香港回歸英國。British we are,
British we stay.
We are group of Hong Kong citizen who love our city greatly. This is a critical moment but In the face of such crisis, we feel helpless. We are discontented with how the previous Pearl of the East has become so devastated and we look back to the times of British rule fondly. But since the sovereignty handover in 1997, Hong Kong gradually has lost its beauty and characteristics—and become like Mainland China. We suffered greatly in all these times. Thank you to the UK, for the careful care and protection that transformed Hong Kong into an international metropolis from a humble fishing port. Thank you to the UK, for establishing a good social system, teaching us an advanced civil way and widening our view to the world. Thank you to the UK, for letting us to take pride in being HongKongers. This year is the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration (to be referred as the “Declaration”). That the Chinese government will forbid British Members of the Parliament from entering Hong Kong to investigate the implementation of the Declaration, we are deeply sorry for such actions and our group of Hong Kong people would want to deeply apologize to you on China’s behalf. China’s unilateral announcement of the ending of the Declaration causes us great anxiety and despair. Therefore, we send to you this petition and descriptions of Hong Kong’s situation, in the hope that the information can aid your investigation.
Seventeen year since the transfer of sovereignty, the National People’s Congress (NPC) of China exercised the power to interpret the Basic Law four times, providing explanations to several articles of the Law. The issues are the right of abode in Hong Kong, electoral reform in Hong Kong, the length of term of a Chief Executive from a by-election process, and external affairs of Hong Kong. As Hong Kong continues to use the common law legal system, the right to interpret the law rests with the judicial court. However, among these four interpretation attempts by the NPC, only once did the local judicial court ask the NPC to do so. What happened was that Hong Kong SAR government bypassed the judicial court and submitting a report to the State Council of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In light of these, the HKSAR government’s action appears to be in violation of the Basic Law. These show that the HKSAR government uses administrative measures to contravene judicial system, harming Hong Kong’s autonomous judicial system and shows lack of respect for the rule of law. A white paper on the practice of the "one country, two systems" policy in Hong Kong was released by the State Council of PRC in June 2014. In the paper, the communist China makes it clear that in addition to defense and diplomacy, she will interfere in many other Hong Kong internal affairs. This greatly harm the promise of “high degree of autonomy” accorded to Hong Kong. This white paper says the high degree of autonomy and the power enjoyed by Hong Kong are limited to how much power and autonomy the Chinese government grants Hong Kong. It also requests Hong Kong judges to be patriotic of China, which is a gross violation of the independent judicial system. The political reform specified in the original Basic Law has been changed to from a three-step process into a five-step one, adding the steps of submitting a report to the Standing Committee of the NPC and having the Standing Committee to approve. These additional steps greatly increase the interference of the Chinese government in Hong Kong affairs and are great obstacles to the development of these Hong Kong affairs.
The following is a brief description of the current situation in Hong Kong. If there is such a need, we can provide more detailed explanations and evidence, as well as personal accounts of Hong Kong people.
1. Cooperation between the three powers. From Hong Kong’s very beginning, the separation of the three branches of government, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, is the crucial factor in making Hong Kong into a city following the rule of law. It also has attracted foreign investors to safely place investment in Hong Kong. This is no longer the case. In the past few years, the three powers no longer operate separately, but try to cooperate in a way that cover up one and other’s problems. They use high-handed ways to oppress the underprivileged. They do not respect the rule of law, human rights and the spirits of contracts. For example, they used the excuse of checking water supply meters to go to homes to make political arrests. They also caused white fear by intimidating citizens on streets to report their ID cards. In short, they use their public power to suppress dissident voices.
2. Excessive police power. The police are public servants, but they do not serve the public in professional spirits. They are willing to be reduced to a political machine that oppresses citizens. On 28th September, 2014, the police employed military-use tear gases in an attempt to dispel peaceful protestors who were petitioning on political reforms. The police also cooperated with triad societies, ordering people of the triads to attack civilians, while remaining unmoved nearby. In later days, they even use solid batons to chase after and hit the protestors. They targeted the protestors’ head and back of the neck. Such blows can be fatal. Many by-standers on the streets also had their head hurt and bled from the blows by the police. In the two months since 28th September, the police would even repeatedly use words and actions to provoke protestors. It is unbelievable how the world-renowned and reputable Royal Hong Kong Police Force would fall to such levels.
3. Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly become more constrained. In recent years, the freedom of citizens to demonstrate on streets is constantly being restricted. Citizens do not have a channel to express their political aspirations. Some protests and assemblies did not get the approval from the police. Allowed protests and assemblies got rough receptions from the law-enforcing bodies. Citizens have discontentment, but they do not have a way to raise it. In 2002, the China solemnly requests the Hong Kong government to start the legislation process specified in Article 23 of the Basic Law. (It is on national security, its contents include treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Chinese central government and theft of its secrets.) Such action by the Chinese government is tantamount to violating human rights, suppressing speech and association freedom. If the legislation is passed successfully, the democratic development of Hong Kong will be greatly restricted, and such legislation will damage the pledge of “One Country, Two Systems”.
4.Suppress freedom of press. Hong Kong’s media industry once flourished greatly. Citizens can obtain information of different opinions, from a wide-range of sources. However, in recent years, the two television channels become government mouthpieces successively, siding completely with the pro-China and pro-government camps, and only use such angles to create news and current affairs programmes, which is a violation of the principle of political neutrality in professional journalism. Many publish press become biased, with the effect that the general public cannot receive all facts. Combined with self-censorship from the media, they not only fail to give an accurate and full picture of news to the public, but some even mislead them. In recent years, the law-enforcing bodies significantly commit more and more disrespectful actions towards reporters, scolding them and attacking their limbs. The prevalence of these actions demonstrates fully that the freedom of press in Hong Kong is deteriorating greatly.
5. Hong Kong people are not given first priority. The allocation of many social resources in Hong Kong is not following the big principle of “Hong Kong people first” right now. Instead, new immigrants’ social welfare are increased repeatedly. For example, the judicial court recently has judged that the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance is open for application for new immigrants who have not yet lived in Hong Kong for seven years. Public housing policies of Hong Kong are also being evaluated whether lower the applicant’s years of stay requirement. It is as if Hong Kong people who are born and grew in this territory have become second-class citizen. These decisions not only greatly increase the burden of Hong Kong’s hospital and public health systems, they also affect the twelve-year free education policy, gravely burdening the taxpayers. Looking at the admission situation of graduate schools of the local universities, over 70% admitted students are Chinese mainland students who come over for study. It is absolutely intolerable that Hong Kong students do not get the opportunity to advance their studies no matter how much efforts they put in nor how bright they are.
6. Elimination of local culture. Hong Kong possesses different words (Traditional Chinese characters) and spoken language (Cantonese) from China’s. However, to accommodate the great number of new immigrants and Chinese tourists in recent years, these word characters and spoken language are starting to be replaced and bad-mouthed. The polite civil ways cultivated during the time of British Hong Kong are slowly being replaced by the barbarian rudeness of China. Even though Hong Kong people may be angry, they do not dare raise the issue. On education matters, constantly changing education policies leave education practitioners at a loss. Some schools follow the policy of using Putonghua (China’s lingua franca) to teach the Chinese language subject, costing the new generation opportunities to learn Hong Kong’s own lingua franca. These schools are suspects of attempting to destroy Hong Kong’s unique culture in order to unify China. In 2012, the Hong Kong government tried to introduce the “moral and national education” subject, but her guideline for textbooks of the subjects was biased, requiring students to be proud of China’s rapid growth and development, and to be in agreement with the Chinese national identity. The introduction of this subject stirred up great furor and protests.
7. Colonisation by China. At present, there is a daily quota of 150 people for Chinese citizens holding the “Permit for Proceeding to Hong Kong and Macau” (also known as the One-way Permit) to come to Hong Kong and live. In reality, the approval for Chinese citizens to come to Hong Kong is subject to China’s control, which is to say that the Hong Kong government does not have the power to assess the background of immigrants nor does she have the power to oppose policies unfavorable to Hong Kong. The One-way Permit quotas put huge pressure on Hong Kong, affecting areas like population policies, land planning, job market and home affairs, as well as increasing demand for welfare, transportation and housing. The immigrants arriving in Hong Kong with One-way Permits are numerous, but they do not come from investment schemes nor are they skilled migrants. They have not brought to Hong Kong a huge amount of investment or expertise, but instead greatly exacerbate the long-standing problems of the small but densely populated Hong Kong. Since 2003, the launch of the “Individual Visit Scheme” has brought to Hong Kong a huge amount of Mainland Chinese tourists. Civilized Hong Kong people have forborn their overbearing rudeness and have always been accommodating, but the ecologies of shopping districts in Hong Kong have been severely damaged. Mongkok has long been a relatively grass-root area, but in recent years, the dozens of gold and jewelries shops have emerged. Their target customers clearly are not Hong Kong people, but Mainland Chinese tourists with deep pockets. The Mongkok full of human warmth is turned into shopping area that serves Mainland Chinese specifically.
8. Issues of human rights. In recent years, the government has repeatedly suppressed public activities that demand more human rights, uninterrupted in restraining public space for expression and always considered the human rights lightly. The following issues that affect the human rights of citizens have been discussed for years with no improvement: overbearing police power, obstruction of demonstrations and protests, unjust restrictions on the right to vote and the right to be elected, privacy not respected, education system unfair, racial discrimination, etc. During the three months of occupation movement, there were plenty cases of these infringements of human rights. There was a female protester who was denied access to toilets when under arrest. The police demanded her to address her physical needs in front of watchful eyes of the public. There was another female protester who in a standoff with the police, was intimidated by a policeman with the threat of rape in police station. These are behaviours that seriously hurt the dignity of women. However, the Hong Kong government turns a blind eye to these issues and do not follow up on these issues. The police officers involved are not punished. Some protestors were hit in the head and bled, but they did not receive appropriate medical care or emergency treatments. Instead, they remained under arrest for several hours, bleeding, before finally got sent to a hospital. Earlier, seven police officers tied the hands of a protestor behind his back and blindfolded him. Then they carried him to a dark corner, repeatedly punched and kicked him for four minutes. This case reflects the overbearing police power as well as how law-enforcers treat human rights and human lives with contempt.
9. Government policies biased towards the wealthy and China. The Chief Executive earlier gave a speech in a public visit. He claimed if the nomination committee for the election of Chief Executive candidates is enlarged, government policies will then tilt towards citizens with monthly income less than HKD$14000. We are perplexed by such a statement. It should be the responsibility of the local government to make sure citizens can live in an equal society, but not divided into classes. The social system should not tilt towards the wealthy or the poor. In the past, the UK pushed for a clean Hong Kong and established the Independent Commission Against Corruption to fight corruption. However, in recent years, many high-ranking officials and wealthy dignitaries are caught in corruption scandals, including the incumbent Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying who is alleged to have received benefits. For many years, the Hong Kong government introduced measures that harm Hong Kong, while benefiting China. Examples are the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect that merely uses Hong Kong as a window for renminbi internationalization and the list of white elephant construction projects that keep draining extra public money. These measures in the long-run will empty Hong Kong’s financial reserve and undermine the highly transparent structure of financial markets in Hong Kong. The problem of property tycoons’ power is also getting serious. Many small businesses have been forced to close down as they could not afford the large increase in rent. This issue helps rapidly widen the gap between the rich and the poor and destroy the ecology of local businesses.
10. Destruction of the environment and ecology. To cope with the demands of residential and commercial buildings developments, some residents of many areas (e.g. the northeast of the New Territories) have had to move out in recent years, affecting the local agriculture balance. Some these developments are alleged to have corruption between government officials and businessmen, or they are attempts to integrate mainland China and Hong Kong. Despite the concerns and pleads for help by citizens, the Hong Kong government ignores them and passes the motions forcibly. Not only that, the government keeps destroying Hong Kong people’s history, culture and collective memories, one example being the demolition of the Central Star Ferry Pier to make way for roads and commercial buildings. We cannot agree with these economic-development-only practices that ignore of conservation of cultural heritage.
For a long time, Hong Kong ranks as the third-most important financial centre in the world, after London and New York. It is also the world’s freest economy, attracting many foreign investments. Moreover, Hong Kong has been labeled like the “Pearl of the East”, “Food Paradise”, “Shopping Paradise”, the “Eastern Manhattan” and the “Asia’s World City”. All these rely on the good governance and education by the United Kingdom, who held the sovereignty over Hong Kong. But all these treasures are fading away. We cannot accept Hong Kong to go downhill all the way and to become a mere municipality of China.
Hong Kong is a society that follows the rule of law. We grew up in British culture. Our culture, ways of thinking and even the social system are different from China’s completely. To be painted in black, to have the Hong Kong culture destroyed, we feel indignant. Dear British people, do you really have no qualms to see the Hong Kong you carefully cultivated to be destroyed? For seventeen years, Hong Kong has experienced severe damages to her executive-legislature-judiciary structure, people’s livelihoods, citizens’ freedom and economic environment. The promised “One Country, Two Systems”, “High degree of autonomy” and “Hong Kong people governs Hong Kong” unchanging for fifty years are all lies. Even the signed Sino-British Joint Declaration can be unilaterally declared void. We refuse to believe this regime and to be governed by this regime. The Sino-British Joint Declaration is the only legal basis for the handover of the sovereignty of Hong Kong. We sincerely plead with you the UK side to launch a detailed investigation. We plead with you to declare the Declaration void and retake Hong Kong in accordance with the Treaty of Nanking and the Treaty of Peking. If you need more evidence, we can provide more detailed information and are willing to assist the investigation.
The Hong Kong problem has come to a critical moment. The United Kingdom should use her international stature and diplomatic influence to retake Hong Kong, safeguard this lovely land and the United Kingdom’s own dignity. Hong Kong has 3.4 million BNO holders and 270 thousand British national on her soil now. The way the United Kingdom handles Hong Kong and her overseas nationals is under watchful eyes everywhere, and it clings with the Britain’s reputation and prestige. Experiencing seventeen years of Chinese colonial rule, we deeply appreciate the good of western civilization and its values. We agree more that with the importance of human rights and freedom over economic interests. Hong Kong has come to dire straits. We are facing the threat of genocide. We are willing to grant the United Kingdom the greatest trust, and are willing to provide all support and assistance we can give. We are willing to be a bridgehead for the return of western civilization to the Asia-Pacific, to build a civilized world republic. Please assist Hong Kong to rejoin the United Kingdom or to help Hong Kong gain independence, to save us from oppression and genocide.
Here, we Hong Kong people apologize to you, the British, for the offending or non-respectful acts committed by some Hong Kong or Chinese people. We also plead with you to retake Hong Kong, or to help us to attain independence or complete autonomy. We look forward to the reunification of Hong Kong with the United Kingdom. British we are, British we stay.
After collecting signatures, we will pass this petition to Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to express Hong Kong people’s wish.
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